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Obituary

TOMPKINS, Virginia Blackford "Ginny," 65, of Richmond, Va., died Tuesday, November 14, 2017. Ginny is survived by her husband, Christopher Robinson Tompkins Jr.; her brothers, George Williams Blackford and William DesChamps Blackford (Page); her son, Christopher Robinson "Rob" Tompkins III (Julia); and two granddaughters, Nora Grey Tompkins and Margo Scott Tompkins. Ginny was born on May 20, 1952, in Spartanburg, S.C. She graduated from the Spartanburg Day School in 1970 with honors, and from Hollins College with a degree in art history in 1974 with honors. Ginny was director of employee benefits at J.B. Ivey & Company in Charlotte; and director of employee benefits at Miller & Rhoads, and vice president of benefits at Wheat First Securities in Richmond. Ginny met Chris 38 years ago on a blind date on New Year’s Eve. Their marriage of 37 years stands as a testament of lifelong dedication to one another despite adversity, particularly, Ginny’s devotion to being a caretaker after Chris’ life changing accident in 2009 that resulted in his quadriplegia. Ginny was known for her gracious hospitality at her Glenburnie neighborhood Easter Egg hunts and Halloween pumpkin cuts, her unique birthday parties for Rob, and special family Christmas gatherings. Ginny was an artist. She enjoyed knitting and crewelwork, and she was especially gifted in woodcut prints and watercolors. Ginny was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the Junior League of Richmond, The Tuckahoe Garden Club of Westhampton, The National Society of Colonial Dames of America, and The Country Club of Virginia. A Celebration of Life will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, November 18, at St. Giles Presbyterian Church, 5200 Grove Avenue, with a reception to follow. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The Spartanburg Day School, Hollins College or St. Paul’s Church for the Micah Initiative.

Ginny Eulogy by Chris Tompkins

Ginny and I met 38 years ago on a blind date on New Year’s Eve and fell in love. I will never forget our first kiss, but I had to wait until she got over mono for that.

I affectionately called her, “Miss Ginny,” because to me, she was a South Carolinian belle. Ginny was a cheerleader at the Spartanburg Day School in spite of her scoliosis. She continued to be a cheerleader all her life and never found fault with anyone. She was energetic, loved people, led by example, and rose to the top in human resources wherever she went.

Ginny was a wonderful and faithful wife. Ginny was a shining example to all of what a wife should be. She sacrificed her life for me. When I became quadriplegic in 2009, Ginny went to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Ginny visited me daily at The Laurels of University Park, and The Virginia Home, where I now live. Ginny’s courage and positive attitude in the face of extremely challenging circumstances was inspirational to many people.

Ginny loved mentoring a little second grader at Woodville Elementary School in Church Hill as part of St. Paul’s Micah Initiative Program. The little second grader was not a good student, but she excelled in art. The little second grader lived for her weekly, hour and a half art mentoring session with Ginny.

Ginny was a caring, devoted, and loyal friend to many people. She shared many happy moments with the Glenburnie Mommy’s Club and beyond. She was a warm, welcoming and generous host of many fun gatherings in our home. These included family get togethers, Halloween Pumpkin Cuts, Christmas parties, and especially her son, Rob’s, birthday parties.

Ginny made friends where ever she went, including Westminster Canterbury where she was a resident and The Virginia Home where I am a quadriplegic resident. Ginny was a remarkable woman and a blessing to me and many other people.

It was hard seeing Ginny suffer in the hospital, but I loved her and stayed by her side as long as I could. Ginny had her eyes closed for most of the last week before she died. On the night she died, I recited the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm. Rob spoke to Ginny and said he had a video of Nora 3 ½ and Margo 1 ½ saying, “I love you Gigi.” Rob played the video. Ginny opened her eyes wide, watched the video, then passed away. I am confident Ginny heard and understand everything we said the whole time she appeared nonresponsive.

I will miss her.

Please celebrate Ginny’s life today, and do not be sad. Ginny loved celebrations.

Funeral slideshow
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3jbqxujr02t8wpf/AABNVctYnX8dr9gffd1Hln5pa/Photos%20of%20Ginny.pptx?dl=0

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Eat Cooked Mushrooms to Prevent Breast Cancer

Mighty Mushrooms: Boost Immune Function and Guard Against Cancer Mushrooms seem to be almost magical in promoting health benefits. From fighting respiratory infections to cancer, this assortment of small fungi are gigantic warriors.Mushroom’s phytochemicals, such as beta-glucan, enhance the activity of several different types of immune cells including natural killer cells, which attack and destroy virus-infected and cancerous cells. The immune-enhancing actions of mushrooms are thought to help the body to more effectively attack microbial invaders and developing tumors.1-3According to a study on healthy volunteers who ate mushrooms daily, mushrooms may also help to prevent respiratory infections by improving the production of protective immune substances by mucosal surfaces (like the mouth, nose and throat).4

Mushrooms are unique in their breast cancer preventing effects.

Frequent consumption of mushrooms (approximately one button mushroom per day) has been linked to a 64 percent decrease in the risk of breast cancer.5 Mushrooms are thought to protect against breast cancer particularly because they inhibit an enzyme called aromatase, which produces estrogen. Several varieties of mushrooms, especially the commonly eaten white button and portobello mushrooms, have strong anti-aromatase activity.6

Consumption of mushrooms does not only protect against breast cancer. Mushrooms contain specialized lectins (ABL) that recognize cancer cells, and prevent the cells from growing and dividing.7-8 In addition, white, cremini, portobello, oyster, maitake, and reishi mushrooms each contain a number of bioactive compounds with the potential for anti-cancer activity. These mushroom phytochemicals have anti-angiogenic, anti-proliferative, and other anti-cancer effects, which have been studied in relation to stomach, colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers.9-18

Avoid Uncooked Mushrooms

It’s important to remember that mushrooms should only be eaten cooked. Several raw culinary mushrooms contain a potentially carcinogenic substance called agaritine, and cooking mushrooms significantly reduces their agaritine content.19-20 Mushrooms add unique flavors and textures to vegetable dishes, and are delicious paired with fresh herbs. Combining mushrooms with the onion family, green and cruciferous vegetables, and beans, creates delicious, healthful, and powerfully protective meals. References https://www.drfuhrman.com/learn/library/articles/17/mighty-mushrooms-boost-immune-function-and-guard-against-cancer

Amazing Study: Mushrooms Reduce Breast Cancer by 64% Women who consumed at least a third of an ounce of fresh mushrooms every day were 64% less likely to develop breast cancer. In the study, dried mushrooms had a slightly less protective effect, reducing the risk by around half. Even more impressive, women who combined eating mushrooms with regular consumption of green tea saw an even greater benefit — they reduced their breast cancer risk by an astounding 89%. Mushrooms are one of the very few foods that inhibit aromatase (pomegranate is another). And several varieties of mushrooms, including the commonly eaten white button and portobello mushrooms, have strong anti-aromatase activity. But, consumption of mushrooms protects against more than hormone-dependent cancers. Mushrooms also contain specialized lectins that recognize cancer cells, and have been found to prevent cancer cells from growing and dividing. https://foodrevolution.org/blog/how-to-fight-prevent-cancer-with-mushrooms/

Eat Iodine Rich Foods to Prevent Cancer

Research also indicates adding more iodine to our diet can prevent and hopefully reverse breast, prostate, and many other cancers.

Iodine and Cancer | Natural Medicine Journal June 2014

By Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO – Abstract

Iodine is an essential element in human physiology. Its role in thyroid function is well known and heavily weighted in the literature. Its putative role as an anticarcinogenic agent is just beginning to be widely appreciated. The molecular effects of iodine as well as ongoing epidemiological evidence points to its probable role in prevention of cancers through its antioxidant, antiinflammatory, prodifferentiating, and proapoptotic effects. This is particularly evident with stomach and breast cancers but may be relevant for many other cancers that have yet to be substantially studied. http://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2014-06/iodine-and-cancer

Iodine And The Prostate | The HSD

Japanese men have one of the lowest prostate cancer rates in the world and some of the highest iodine intakes. They consume large amounts of salt-water fish and seaweed, both iodine-rich food sources. The Japanese age adjusted prostate cancer incidence rate is 12.6 men per 100,000 men; in the United States it is 124.8 men per 100,000 men. When Japanese men move to the United States and adapt a non-traditional diet their incidence of prostate cancer rises.

The British Journal of Cancer found that higher the iodine intake, the lower the risk of prostate cancer. High iodine intake was defined as greater than 156 micrograms per day, which is higher than the recommended intake in the United States and well below the intake in the average Japanese man. The prostate and many other organs and tissues will actively pull in and accumulate iodine as long as there is enough iodine present in the body. However, the thyroid gets preferential uptake of iodine. The doses of iodine recommended in the United States barely make the cutoff for thyroid needs, forget the breasts, brain, salivary glands, ovaries, testicles, prostate, and stomach! (3)

(3) Aceves C, Anguiano B, Delgado G. The Extrathyronine Actions of Iodine as Antioxidant, Apoptotic, and Differentiation Factor in Various Tissues. Thyroid. 2013 Aug. 23(8): 938-946. Full text.

Iodine In The Prostate

Iodine has anti-proliferative, antioxidant, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory effects. Increased levels of iodine regulate mitosis, reduce free-radical induced DNA damage, and markedly reduce tissue fibrosis. All these functions add up to protection. Studies on mice and in test tube cells have shown that iodine can cause prostate cancer cells to self-destruct (known medically as apoptosis) and to differentiate (a good thing). Cancerous cells begin to lose all resemblance to the tissue type they are supposed to belong to, and iodine helps prostate cancer cells go back to resembling normal prostate cells (known medically as differentiation). https://thehomeschoolingdoctor.com/2015/07/20/iodine-and-the-prostate/

What Does an Iodine Deficiency Have to Do with Cancer? (video …

Iodine’s main job is to maintain a normal architecture of those tissues. With iodine deficiency, the first thing that happens is you get cystic formation in the breasts, the ovaries, uterus, thyroid, prostate and, let’s throw in the pancreas in here as well, which is also increasing at epidemic rates – pancreatic cancer. Cysts start to form when iodine deficiency is there. If it goes on longer, they become nodular and hard. If it goes on longer, they become hyperplastic tissue, which is the precursor to cancer.

Iodine has apoptotic properties, meaning it can stop a cancer cell from continually dividing. Over 80 percent of women suffer from fibrocystic breast disease which is a precursor to breast cancer. https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/iodine-deficiency-cancer/

Dr. Flechas provides very compelling arguments for using iodine doses as high as 12.5 milligrams (mg) per day, which is a far cry from the RDA of 150 micrograms (mcg), We need more research to determine the health effects of too much iodine.

A study, published December 28, 2011 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition2 cast doubts on high-dose iodine supplementation. The study randomly assigned one of 12 different dosages of iodine (ranging from 0 to 2,000 mcg/day) to healthy adults for four weeks. When diet was factored in, those taking 400 mcg/day were receiving a total of about 800 mcg of iodine per day. At doses at and above 400 mcg of supplemented iodine per day, some of the study participants developed subclinical hypothyroidism, which appeared to be dose dependent. At 400 mcg/day, five percent developed subclinical hypothyroidism; at the highest dose—2,000 mcg/day—47 percent of participants were thus affected. Subclinical hypothyroidism refers to a reduction in thyroid hormone levels that is not sufficient to produce obvious symptoms of hypothyroidism (such as fatigue, dry skin, depression or weight gain, just to mention a few common telltale signs). These findings suggest it might not be wise to get more than about 800 mcg of iodine per day, and supplementing with as much as 12-13 mg (12,000-13,000 mcg’s) could potentially have some adverse health effects. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/05/04/iodine-deficiency-affect-childs-brain-function.aspx

You may purchase an iodine supplement from your health food store.Dr. Thompson recommends an iodine supplement that contains potassium iodide, sodium iodide, and plant-based iodine because some people absorb some of these iodine sources better than others. See Top 10 Iodine Supplements – Best of 2017 Reviewed

J.Crow’s Lugol’s Iodine Solution, 2 oz., Twin Pack (2 Bot.)

J.Crow’s® Lugol’s Iodine Solution 2% is equivalent to USP standards or higher. This solution delivers 94% distilled water, 4% potassium iodide and 2% iodine. This iodine content is what makes Lugol’s Solution so popular. Drops dispense vertically or horizontally. Each VERTICAL drop is approximately 3.00- 3.125 mg’s of iodine/potassium iodide (approximately 1.250 mg iodine, 1.875 mg potassium iodide) and 2 drops is about 6.00-6.25 mg’s of iodine/potassium iodide (approximately 2.5 mg iodine, 3.75 mg potassium iodide). For use as a talisman only. Keep away from children.

Calculating Number of MG’s of Iodine per Drop of Lugol’s Solution

Calculating Number of MG’s of Iodine and Iodide per Drop of Lugol’s Solution: LUGOL’S 5%: Each VERTICAL "metric" drop (= 1/20ml) is approximately 2.5 mg of iodine and 5mg of potassium iodide. The Iodide portion of Potassium Iodide is about 75% so that is 3.75mg. Therefore the total Iodine plus Iodide is 2.5 + 3.75 = 6.25mg and 2 drops is about 12.50 mg’s of iodine/iodide (5.0 mg iodine, 7.50 mg iodide).

Calculating Number of MG’s of Iodine and Iodide per Drop of Lugol’s Solution: LUGOL’S 2%: Each VERTICAL "metric" drop (= 1/20ml) is approximately1.0 mg of iodine and 2.0 mg of potassium iodide. The Iodide portion of Potassium Iodide is about 75% so that is 1.5 mg. Therefore the total Iodine plus Iodide is 1.0 + 1.5 = 2.5 mg and 2 drops is about 5.0 mg’s of iodine/iodide (2.0 mg iodine, 3.0 mg iodide).

Compared to other’s, J.CROW’S® Lugol’s Solution offers big savings.

Approximately 600 vertical drops per 1 oz. container. To use as a water purifier add 2-3 drops per liter of water or 3-6 drops when using 2%. Always fresh. Does not expire. Store at room temperature out of direct sunlight. No need to refrigerate. The iodine used in J.CROW’S® Lugol’s Solution is derived from mined crystals, not from shellfish or kelp.

NOTE: Drinking 10 ounces of water containing 1 vertical drop of Lugoul’s 2% solution in 1 liter of water should provide approximately a total 800 mcg (0.8 mg) of iodine as iodine and potassium iodide not taking diet into account.

The following supplement contains high concentrations of potassium iodide, sodium iodide, and plant-based iodine: Thyroid Care™ – Iodine Supplement | Terry Naturally Vitamins https://www.terrynaturallyvitamins.com/thyroid-care/

SUPPLEMENT FACTS

Serving Size: 2 Capsules

Servings Per Container: 30 or 60

Ingredient Amount/Serving Daily Value
Iodine 30,000 mcg (30 mg) 20,000%
(from potassium iodide 14,644 mcg, sodium iodide 14,644 mcg, molecular iodine [from kelp] 712 mcg)
L-Tyrosine 400 mg **

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Alzheimer’s Disease and Reversal of Cognitive Decline

ReCODE: The Reversal of Cognitive Decline – Dr. Mercola’s Articles

Aging | Reversal of cognitive decline: A novel therapeutic program …

Fueling the Alzheimer’s brain with fat | Clinical Neurology News

Unique visual stimulation may be new treatment for Alzheimer’s | MIT …

Fighting Free Radicals & Free Radical Damage – Dr. Axe

Free Radicals, Antioxidants in Disease and Health – NCBI – NIH

Summary

Alzheimer’s is now the third leading cause of death in the United States, right behind heart disease and cancer. While prevalence is rapidly increasing, the good news is you actually have a great deal of control over this devastating disease.

Alzheimer’s costs the United States over $220 billion annually and a trillion-dollar globally. It strikes about 15 percent of the population.” Projections estimate Alzheimer’s will affect about half of the senior population in the next generation. With respect to genetics and Alzheimer’s, about 95 percent of cases of Alzheimer’s are not so-called “familial.

Dr. Dale Bredesen, MD identified more than four dozen variables that can have a significant influence on Alzheimer’s, but at the heart of it all is mitochondrial dysfunction. While Alzheimer’s subtype classifications have not become widely accepted, Dr. Bredesen published two papers on Alzheimer’s subtypes, based on metabolic profiling.4 These include:

1.Type 1, inflammatory (“hot”) Alzheimer’s: Patients present predominantly inflammatory symptoms. They have high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha, reflecting a chronic inflammatory state. When the NF-ĸB part of inflammation is activated, it also alters gene transcription. Two of the genes turned “on” are beta-secretase and gamma-secretase, the latter of which cleaves APP, thereby promoting synaptoclastic processes.

2.Type 1.5, glycotoxic (sugar-toxic, “sweet”), a mixed subtype: This is an in-between subtype that involves both inflammation and atrophy processes, due to insulin resistance and glucose-induced inflammation.

3.Type 2, atrophic or “cold” Alzheimer’s: This is classified as patients presenting an atrophic response. While a completely different mechanism from inflammation, it produces the same end result — it pushes APP in the direction of creating amyloid plaques and Alzheimer’s cell signaling.

When you withdraw nerve growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), estradiol, testosterone or vitamin D — any compound that provides atrophic support — your brain responds by blocking synaptogenesis. As a result, your ability to retain and learn new things is reduced.

4.Type 3, toxic (“vile”) Alzheimer’s: These are patients with toxic exposures. Many will have chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS) markers, even though most do not fit the official criteria for CIRS. “They act like CIRS patients (in their labs, not necessarily symptoms) with dementia,” Bredesen explains.

They will typically have high transforming growth factor beta and complement component 4 A; low melanocyte-stimulating hormone; high matrix metallopeptidase-9; human leukocyte antigen-antigen D related qs (associated with bio toxin sensitivity), yet they rarely have the pulmonary complaints, rashes, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue typically associated with CIRS. “When you treat those, then they get better. Without treating them, they continue to decline,” Bredesen says.

Dr. Bredesen identified more than four dozen variables that can have a significant influence on Alzheimer’s, but at the heart of it all is mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondria are also where a majority of free radicals are generated, so when your lifestyle choices produce higher amounts of free radicals, dysfunctions in mitochondria are to be expected. The accumulation of mutations in mitochondrial DNA are also a primary driver of age-related decline.

If you are ApoE4 Positive, fasting Is strongly indicated to avoid Alzheimer’s.While ReCODE looks at all of the contributing factors, restoring mitochondrial function is a cornerstone of successful Alzheimer’s treatment. One of the most powerful ways to optimize mitochondrial function is pulsed or cyclical ketosis, which is the main focus of the book, “Fat for Fuel.”

The ReCODE protocol evaluates 150 different variables, including biochemistry, genetics and historical imaging, to determine which factors are most likely driving the disease. You can get more details on these variables by reading Dr. Bredesen’s book, “The End of Alzheimer’s.”

Dr. Bredesen recommends mild ketosis and a mostly plant-based diet to all his patients. The specific diet recommended in his protocol is called KetoFlex 12/3, which involves a daily fasting period of 12 hours. For ApoE4-positive patients, 14 to 16 hours of fasting instead of the minimum 12 is recommended. One of the most powerful ways to optimize mitochondrial function is pulsed or cyclical ketosis, which is the main focus of his book, “Fat for Fuel.”

He also recommends exercise, to increase BDNF; stress reduction; optimizing your sleep, which is critical for cognitive function, and nutritional support. Important nutrients include animal-based omega-3, magnesium, vitamin D and fiber. All of these nutrients need to be optimized.

He’s also following Michael Hamblin’s work on photobiomodulation, which uses near-infrared light and red light between 660 and 830 nanometers for the treatment of Alzheimer’s. Dr. Lew Lim has developed a device called the Vielight, which employs light emitting diodes at these frequencies. Alzheimer’s patients using the device for 20 minutes a day report remarkably positive results.

Dr. Bredesen recommends, “We recommend that everybody over the age of 45 get what we call a “cognoscopy,” to look at genetics and these different things in your blood to get an appropriate program for prevention. If you have already started to be symptomatic, get on an appropriate program for reversal, the earlier, the better.”

Major Sources of Free Radicals See Fighting Free Radicals & Free Radical Damage – Dr. Axe

Dr. Bredesen concludes mitochondrial dysfunction is it the heart of Alzheimer’s. Mitochondria are also where a majority of free radicals are generated, so when your lifestyle choices produce higher amounts of free radicals, dysfunctions in mitochondria are to be expected. The accumulation of mutations in mitochondrial DNA are also a primary driver of age-related decline.

What causes free radicals to proliferate? Basically, the typical “Western lifestyle” — with its processed foods, absence of healthy whole foods, reliance on medications and antibiotics, common use of alcohol or drugs, environmental pollutants, and high stress levels. Free radicals are generated due to oxidation and when toxins are broken down in the body. The liver produces free radicals as it breaks down compounds and removes them.

The major sources of free radicals include: (5)

  • Ordinary body functions, such as breathing and digestion
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Exposure to other environmental pollutants
  • Consumption of cigarettes or tobacco, drugs, and alcohol
  • Certain medications or high use of antibiotics, which leads to antibiotic resistance
  • A poor diet that includes foods like unhealthy fats, too much sugar, pesticides, herbicides or synthetic additives. Many processed and refined foods contain oxidized fats that add free radicals to the body. Excessive amounts of sugar and sweeteners are other sources of free radical growth that contribute to aging, weight gain and inflammation.
  • Even too much exercise (overtraining) generates added free radicals
  • High amounts of emotional or physical stress. Stress hormones (like too much cortisol) can generate free radicals.

Best Ways to Fight Free Radical Damage

1. Start Eating More Foods Rich in Antioxidants

The National Institute on Aging, a part of the National Institutes of Health, has developed a scoring system to measure the amounts of antioxidants in foods. The score given to a particular food is known as its ORAC score. ORAC stands for “Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity.”

Here are just a few foods that have very high ORAC scores:

  • Brightly colored fruits and vegetables — Orange foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and squash, or cantaloupe contain carotenoids that are beneficial for your skin and eyes. These antioxidant foods help reduce sunburn and wrinkles while protecting your vision. According to the International Dermal Institute, oxygen free radicals are implicated in the overall aging process and are responsible for photoaging, cancer and inflammation in the skin. (6) Similarly to orange veggies, citrus fruits contain a compound called quercetin. Spinach and other leafy greens like kale are high in lutein, and tomatoes and red peppers contain lycopene, all of which have anti-aging effects.
  • Berries, grapes and red wine — These deeply hued fruits are some of the highest in antioxidants, such as resveratrol. A study in the Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry found berries an easy winner in the amount of antioxidants for the price, especially when you buy the organic kinds frozen. (7) As an added bonus, berries also tend to be lower in sugar than other fruits and contain lots of fiber.
  • Green and white tea— White and green teas are very minimally processed and contain less caffeine than coffee (or even other varieties of tea). They also contain a very high concentration of antioxidants called polyphenols that have been shown to have cancer-fighting properties. (8)
  • Cocoa —A study from Seoul National University found that cocoa has a higher antioxidant content that green tea, black tea and even red wine. (9) But you want to make sure the cocoa or dark chocolate you eat is very minimally processed, such as the kinds that are a high percentage of cocoa (more than 65 percent or so) and labeled raw and organic.
  • Herbs and spices— These include things like cinnamon, oregano, ginger, turmeric and rosemary. Additionally, essential oils made from the same plants can also be a great source of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory compounds.

While eating more antioxidant foods is a big step in the right direction, you also benefit from limiting intake of pesticide- and herbicide-laden foods (those that are not organically grown) and by avoiding too much sugar, refined oil or refined grains. Use natural, cold-pressed oils like coconut or olive oil, since heat oxidizes fats in refined oils. And be sure to limit intake of antibiotic- and hormone-laden foods, such as farm-raised meat or fish.

2. Avoid Toxin or Pollutant Exposure

Besides improving your diet, here are other ways to start reducing free radical damage:

  • Avoiding environmental pollutants in water
  • Reducing chemical exposure in household and cosmetic products, such as by purchasing those that are natural and made from essential oils
  • Avoiding overuse of medications and antibiotics
  • Reducing stress in your life
  • Regularly getting moderate amounts of exercise. Keep in mind that while being sedentary is definitely not helping you to age any slower, either is overworking yourself. Exhaustion, mental fatigue and burnout also cause the immune system and body more damage.
  • Reaching and maintain a healthy body weight
  • Trying to normalize blood sugar and cholesterol levels to prevent diabetes, heart problems and blood pressure changes https://draxe.com/fighting-free-radical-damage/

Attachment: Alzheimer’s Disease and Reversal of Cognitive Decline

Alzheimer’s Disease and Reversal of Cognitive Decline.doc

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What is the meaning of life? That is not the hard question. The meaning of life is finding true happiness and joy. The hard question is, “How do you find true happiness and joy?” True happiness and joy is not found in things, winning sporting events, or achieving corporate success, but by putting other people first. Happiness found by owning things, winning sporting events, or achieving corporate success is like eating cotton candy. The taste is sweet, but it does not last long. I find true happiness and joy by being with my wife, Ginny, my family, and friends, being a servant to all, helping people, celebrating life whenever possible. worshiping God, and spreading the Gospel.

Chris

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Richmond Public Schools Creativity – Teaching Children Creativity, Divergent Thinking, Adaptability, Self-esteem, and How to be Inventive

I am always looking for ways to improve Richmond Public Schools.

Charter Schools and Vouchers may be the best alternative if we cannot improve Richmond Public Schools.

Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School / Richmond, Virginia is a wonderful example of how a school can successfully combine Judeo Christian values with accountability and consequences. The students are primarily black and come from the RPS school district. The cost is $50 a year to insure parent involvement.

Teaching creativity and adaptability is as important as teaching linguistic skills because 65 percent of jobs our kindergarteners will have do not exist today.. http://www.roberthalf.com/technology/blog/most-grade-school-kids-will-have-jobs-that-dont-exist-how-should-they-prepare

How to Prepare Young People For Jobs That Don’t Even Exist Yet by Andrea Lo

The unemployment rate for teenagers March, 2017 was 13.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a study by MacArthur Foundation codirector Cathy Davidson suggests that 65 percent of today’s grade school students will grow up to work in jobs that have not yet been invented.

How do we as a country prepare the next generation to join the workforce if there are not only too few jobs, but jobs that don’t yet exist?

If we can’t prepare kids for certainty, then we must prepare them for uncertainty. Students need to learn beyond the core subjects of language arts, math, and history. They also need to master skills, like creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, and digital literacy—skills they need in order to be successful in the 21st century.

A couple years ago I started a company called Piggybackr, a website that teaches young people (K-20) how to fundraise for their teams, schools, and communities online—so they can raise more money while also learning 21st century skills.

A mother of a 9-year-old girl recently asked me, “How do we teach our kids to grow up to be innovative?”

The good news is kids increasingly want to grow up to become entrepreneurs and “bosses.” According to a 2011 Gallup Study, 77 percent of students grade 5-12 want to be their own boss, while 45 percent plan to start their own business. The challenge is that schools are not providing classes that equip students to create and innovate their own careers. Topics like personal finance, engineering, and entrepreneurship are missing.

While schools are slow to change, several organizations exist that train and equip young people for the future. Piggybackr is partnered with three organizations that empower young people to become social and business innovators.

One is Ashoka Youth Venture, a nonprofit whose mission is to make everyone a changemaker. The organization supports youth starting their own “ventures,” whether it be a student club or business, and gives them access to workshops, mentors, and tools to help change their communities. They operate in 17 countries and have supported youth-led organizations like GreenShields, a nonprofit that makes school buses more aerodynamic to save gas, and the Food Recovery Network, a student organization that recovers surplus food from college campuses and donates it to people in need.

Another is the BizWorld Foundation, founded in 1997 by venture capitalist Tim Draper to inspire children to be leaders. Bizworld provide programs and curriculum in business, entrepreneurship, and finance for teachers of K-8 students. Students learn how to start their own businesses, manage money, and invest. Eleven-year-old Leona and her sister Briana, both BizWorld alumni, went on to start Team Awesome with their friends Erik and Elise, an organization that explores the art and science of growing plants and food in the air without soil, using foggers.

There’s also Mobilize.org, a social movement that empowers and invests in millennials (those born between 1976 and 1996) to create and implement solutions to social problems. Mobilize.org has trained over 2,200 millennials (22,000 online) by convening, investing, and then mobilizing them in areas like Detroit and South Florida. One project was an annual walk in North Carolina to promote the importance of finishing college, and several others aimed to empower students at community colleges across the nation.

How do we prepare this next generation for the uncertain future? We can start by giving young people lessons in 21st century skills, the opportunity to learn and explore, and the ability to access the resources and capital they need. If we can’t prepare kids for certainty, then we must prepare them for uncertainty. https://www.good.is/articles/how-to-prepare-young-people-for-jobs-that-don-t-even-exist-yet

I hope you watch this excellent video on changing education paradigms to teach creativity and divergent thinking in schools! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

Sir Ken Robertson believes ADHD is not a modern epidemic, but medicating ADHD diagnosed students is. Our children are living in the most intensely stimulating period in the history of mankind. Our children are being besieged with information from all kinds of platforms including computers, cell phones, television, modern music, ear buds, rock concerts, advertisements, movies, etc. It is no wonder our children are getting distracted from boring stuff – at school. It is interesting that the increase in ADHD has grown in parallel with standardized testing. Our children are taking Ritalin, Adderall, and all kinds of dangerous drugs to help them calm down and focus. ADHD increases across the country from west to east. People start losing interest in Oklahoma. They can hardly think straight in Arkansas. By the time they get to Washington, DC they have lost it completely. Ken Robertson believes ADHD is a fictitious epidemic. He believes we are getting our children through education by anesthetizing them. We need to wake our children up to what they have inside themselves. We are educating our children using production line mentality in separate classes by age group using standardized methods with bells to indicate class changes.

Ken Robertson believes we need to change the paradigm and go in the complete opposite direction. In addition to creativity, we need to encourage divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is the ability to see many different answers to a question or solutions to a problem. Most great learning takes place in groups. Visit https://www.thersa.org/

Imagine a second grade classroom that does not have rows of desks and chairs, but instead, children gently bouncing on stability balls and rocking back-and-forth on plastic wobble chairs to help them concentrate. See Wobble chairs, bouncy balls let students wiggle while they work … "Parents and teachers shouldn’t try to keep them still. Let them move while they are doing their work," Julie Schweitzer, director of the UC Davis ADHD Program.

Dr. Mary Megson tests children for vitamin and mineral deficiencies and recommends supplements to avoid Ritalin. See Pediatric & Adolescent Ability Center : Contact Us – Dr. Mary Megson.

Athletics, exercise, and outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, rock climbing, and kayaking are wonderful outlets for ADHD students. Many students continue these activities after school or even combine them with jobs. I love the story below about Trip Jennings.

Trip Jennings was a good friend of my son, Rob. Both Trip and Rob learned to kayak at early age. Trip started taking video of kayak “gymnastics” at the Williams Dam fish ladder on the James River. Trip was restless in school and often had trouble paying attention in class. At approximately 14, Trip’s father gave him an inexpensive video camera and an Apple computer. Trip started making short kayaking videos. Trip told me he wanted to go to college to learn how to make movies. Thank goodness, I did not tell Trip, this was a crazy idea and a waste of time. Trip attended University of Oregon for two years, learned how to make movies, and went out on his own making short wilderness kayak movies. As time progressed, Trip’s kayaking videos became more and more extreme and started drawing attention at the Banff Film Festival. Trip joined National Geographic and he and another photographer were awarded photographer of the year. Trip now has his own company and owns a $100,000 camera! See Trip’s blog Trip Jennings – National Geographic. You must watch this video to get full appreciation of what Trip has done Kayaking Papua New Guinea – National Geographic Video Trip finished U of O on a terrific scholarship with a major in Spanish. He recently spent 3 days at Nat Geo and will be very preoccupied with an expedition for China to establish their first national park.

Mixed-grade classes can positively affect academic achievement. Most of the research has been carried out in classes in primary school. Various studies and meta-analyses combining the results of studies have consistently shown positive results for multi-age and especially nongraded classes, both of which are formed by choice and have a strong focus on individual learning needs and learning with both older and younger classmates. recent research has shown that older students benefit from “apprenticing” younger students. Learning with others in genuinely collaborative groups is effective and can be organized in any type of class, but mixed-grade teachers have more opportunities to group students flexibly, in different ways at different times. Parents concerned about their child’s mixed-grade class should be reassured that learning occurs individually, in small groups, and as a whole class. Engaged students will learn whether the class is structured by age, grade, ability, or as some form of mixed-grade class. Kr4http://theconversation.com/are-mixed-grade-classes-any-better-or-worse-for-learning-38856

“Education for All and Multigrade Teaching: Challenges and Opportunities,” 2006th Edition by Angela W. Little (Editor) is based on original research and explores the challenges and opportunities in multigrade teaching in Colombia, England, Ghana, Malawi, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Peru, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Vietnam. It raises awareness among policymakers and practitioners in education of the realities of multigrade classes. Moreover, the book explores the implications for teachers, teacher educators, curriculum developers, and educational planners.

NOTE: Approximately 20 percent of the 23,000 Richmond Public School students are disruptive. Multi-grade classes may help if older students control disruptive students that teachers cannot control.

Creative Ways of Showing Love in the Classroom

Elijah House Academy is a wonderful example of how a loving school can change the lives of children. I attended a fundraiser dinner at Elijah House Academy and talked to as many children as I could. An eight grade girl told me her family situation was horrible, but she loved coming to school because the teachers showed her love. This is a wonderful example of how love can change children’s lives even when the family situation is terrible.

A study of how teachers show love in the classroom (PDF)

PhD Thesis by Mary Dennis, George Fox University

There has been little research on how teachers show love in the classroom. This study investigated how five classroom teachers defined love as it pertained to their profession and how they showed love to their students. Through a series of interviews, observations and the collection of artifacts, the research showed that all the participating teachers exhibit love to their students and they speak about the importance of providing this to the children daily in their class. The literature revealed that teachers relate to their students in five areas; caring, enthusiasm, fairness and respect, the student/teacher relationship, and their attitude towards their job. The study revealed that the participant teachers love in many more ways than had been explored previously. Each teacher explained that in order to be an effective instructor, love would need to be present in the classroom and that without it, students would most likely do poorly.

Caring

All the teachers in the study believe caring to be a form of love. In their own teaching they manifested this caring through praise, physical touch, kindness, and understanding

Praise

Throughout the observations and interviews, the teachers talked about praise and gave words of encouragement to their students. During my observations I saw teachers using facial expressions such as smiles and nods of acceptance; they also cheered, and one class even did a special celebratory "happy dance." According to Nel Noddings, these sorts of affirmation contribute to students’ success (Noddings, 2006).

Physical touch.

During the interviews the teachers talked about hugging their students, and I also observed them doing this in the classroom. Many of them have strong feelings about hugging and the importance of physical touch. These responses echo the research of Lisa Goldstein with respect to the importance of touch as an expression of teacherly love (Goldstein, 1997a). Sample comments from interviews. "Um, you know, if it, if it happens that we’re told not to hug kids, then I will not teach anymore." "You know, I give my hugs . . . I give hugs a lot to the kids and I always say, “OK, here’s a high five.” Like they get knuckles, high five, or a hug. But I also think that touch is really important and I think people sometimes do need a hug. So I know I touch the kids a lot on their heads, on their shoulders. . . ." "Positive words, pat on the back, a hug. And I know, you know, now it’s sometimes not politically correct to touch students and different things like that. Kindergarten, my kids need that, you know. They need to be hugged and touched and given high fives. And it’s so important to . . . everyone needs that calming reassurance." "And there’s a little boy and he . . . it was a horrible home situation and his mom had slit her wrist in front of her . . . the boys. He . . . there was a kindergartener and a first grader. And, so, he came from that just traumatic and he came in one day and he’s like, “My legs hurt.” And I said, “Well, let’s . . . you know, “–what’s the matter with your legs?” And he said, “My feet hurt.” And then, “My arms hurt.” And so, I just sat in the rocking chair and held him and he just needed to be held, you know. It’s so sad that . . . yeah." "I think obviously all the research shows, you know, if you’re a newborn and you don’t… you aren’t touched. And so, kids still, you know, they need that pat on the back. They 36 need that, “You know, I’m sad today, my dog died,” or whatever it may be. I have a lot of, “Oh, I don’t get to see my dad for a week.” That’s hard. If I didn’t get to see my dad for a week when I was in kindergarten, that would be very, you know, that’s hard. You need a hug." Examples from classroom observations. Teacher hugs student at snack time. Teacher often puts hand on shoulders or pats hand of students. Teacher helps put one child’s hair into a ponytail. While physical touch of students can be a sensitive issue because of perceptions of impropriety, the teachers in this study showed that hugs, gentle shoulder squeezes, and pats on the back can model a teacher’s love to a struggling student.

Kindness.

The teacher participants constantly mentioned the importance of being kind, warm, and friendly. Many of them sat on the carpet during circle time and all of them walked around helping students that needed assistance with their work. The participants also recounted examples of how their own teachers had modeled these virtues.

Understanding.

The understanding that I observed in the classrooms and heard the teachers talk about included the elements of gentleness and helpfulness. A positive classroom environment was provided by the participants in which empathy was shown to their students. This allowed for children to feel safe and free to make mistakes.

Engaging.

The subjects were not afraid to be silly, to try a wild and crazy science lesson, or to stray from the required curriculum for the day. What they cared about was teaching their students and keeping them challenged. They had few discipline problems because their students were on task and engaged in learning.

Encouraging.

The participants also expressed love by providing daily encouragement to their students, by giving them a cheer or a high five when they had done something right. This was often just what students seemed to need, especially when they were having a bad day or had made a poor choice.

Fairness and Respect

The data revealed that the category of “Fairness and Respect” had four different dimensions, namely, high expectations, responsibility, value, and listening.

Responsibility.

All the teachers in the study encouraged their students to be responsible. Some of them had homework policies; all had classroom management systems in place. No matter what grade they taught, the subjects felt they were showing love to their students by requiring them to take responsibility for themselves and their possessions and thereby preparing them to act responsibly in their adult lives.

Value.

The teachers in the study recounted childhood memories of when their teachers made them feel valued, i.e., special, and of what it felt like to be not valued by their teachers. They believe that teachers who value what their students do or say make them feel loved.

Listening.

The participants expected their students to listen attentively for most of the time they were in class. Teachers asked them questions and solicited their opinions as a means of showing them that they love and value them. These teachers were not afraid to kneel down and put themselves at eye level with particular students so as to listen better to what they had to say. They cared about what their students were saying, and the children felt validated as a result.

Attitude towards job.

The participants expressed love through their attitude to their job in the following ways: by simply enjoying their job, by exhibiting (the requisite) love for children, by being lifelong learners, and by developing a mastery of the subject they teach. During the interviews the teachers talked about the importance of loving their job and the experiences they had had under teachers who either loved or hated their jobs. One mentioned an incident involving a teacher who was so burned out that his students were able to drink a beer in class without his even noticing. This participant described how sad she felt being in that classroom.

Enjoys job.

Each of the five teachers I observed had 10 or more years of experience. They indicated that someone who does not love being with children all day would not be happy as a teacher. This observation accords with the findings of the relevant literature. The participants also talked about their own childhood experiences of having teachers who were burned out, and the ways in which those teachers influenced the participant teachers’ teaching today.

Teacher/Student Relationship

To show love to a student a teacher must have a relationship with him or her. The participants indicated four ways by which they expressed love to their students through relationship: communication, connection, support, and acceptance.

Communication.

The participants regularly communicated with both their students and their students’ families via such means as newsletters, classroom websites, and impromptu conversations during class time. The last of these approaches demonstrate to the students the teachers’ personal knowledge of each of them.

Connection.

All the subjects believed that they should get to know each of their students and their families. They did this by sharing from their own lives, telling stories, meeting students’ families, and looking at photographs students had brought to class. These activities strengthened the bond between the teachers and their students.

Acceptance.

The participants believed in showing love to their students by accepting them regardless of how they presented themselves (i.e., regardless of whether they were loud, shy, smart, clumsy, funny, angry, or whatever) as they entered the classroom.

Conclusion.

Comparison of the five teachers revealed that they were all similar. Their classrooms were well managed and the environments were welcoming. The teachers had taught for many years and it was evident by their responses and actions that they all enjoyed their job. Several of the teachers expressed that they considered loving children to be part ofteaching, although none of them could remember having any specific training on caring or building relationships in their previous education courses. They all agreed that showing affection and making personal connections with students were vital in a child’s success. All the teachers were able to describe a difficult incident they had with a teacher when growing up themselves. They could remember the name of the teacher and exactly how they felt at that given moment. These experiences left negative impressions on all five of the teachers. The participant teachers also had mentors and teachers that they loved. Several said it was from these relationships that they learned to love and care for others.

Church Hill Activities & Tutoring (CHAT) is a wonderful after school program that teaches Judeo Christian values and helps with tutoring and homework.

Creativity and Divergent Thinking

Educational Leadership:Creativity Now!:Fundamentals of Creativity

By RA Beghetto, JC Kaufman – Educational Leadership, 2013 – ERIC, February 2013 | Volume 70 | Number 5 Creativity Now! Pages 10-15

Fundamentals of Creativity by Ronald A. Beghetto and James C. Kaufman

Five insights can help educators nurture student creativity in ways that enhance academic learning.

Creativity has become a hot topic in education. From President Barack Obama to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to Newsweek magazine, business leaders, major media outlets, government officials, and education policy makers are increasingly advocating including student creativity in the curriculum. Here are five fundamental insights that can guide and support educators as they endeavor to integrate student creativity into the everyday curriculum.

1. Creativity Takes More Than Originality

What is creativity? People commonly think of creativity as the ability to think outside the box, be imaginative, or come up with original ideas. These are aspects of creativity, but they tell only half the story. Scholars generally agree that creativity involves the combination of originality and task appropriateness (Kaufman & Sternberg, 2007; Plucker, Beghetto, & Dow, 2004). This combination may seem contradictory. How can something be original and at the same time conform to a set of task requirements? And isn’t originality sufficient for something to be judged creative? Why must it also be task appropriate?

A quick example (adapted from Beghetto & Plucker, 2006) may help. Consider a teacher who wants students to express creativity in their science fair projects. Before assigning students to create their own projects, the teacher discusses the scientific conventions and requirements of the project. (For example, each project must pose a hypothesis, gather evidence to test the hypothesis, and explain whether the hypothesis has been supported.) Students are then invited to work within these conventions to create their own original, personally meaningful science fair projects.

One student’s final project simply reproduces a class lab experiment in which students guessed how much acid various brands of soft drinks contained and then measured the degree of acidity in each. Although this project is task appropriate, it is not creative because it does not contain the student’s original ideas. At the other extreme, one student performs an interpretive dance illustrating the biological phenomenon of mitosis; this project is highly original, but it is not creative because it does not fulfill the academic requirements of this particular task. For a student’s project to be considered creative, it would need to incorporate the student’s own ideas while staying within established academic guidelines and the conventions of scientific inquiry.

Teachers who understand that creativity combines both originality and task appropriateness are in a better position to integrate student creativity into the everyday curriculum in ways that complement, rather than compete with, academic learning. For example, during a lesson on ancient Rome, students might create a diary for a person living during this time, with period-accurate details. A biology class might have students brainstorming about the conditions under which a plant might grow best. Or a math teacher might have students explore how many different ways they can solve an algebraic proof.

2. There Are Different Levels of Creativity

Some instances of creativity occur every day (for example, a 4th grader coming up with an idea for a short story). Other instances of creativity redefine the way things are done (for example, smartphones) or even transform history (the computer chip, the Declaration of Independence, the scientific method, electricity, or Billie Holiday’s powerful performance of the anti-racist song "Strange Fruit").

Researchers have drawn a distinction between these two levels of creativity: the contributions made by everyday people (little-c creativity) and the lasting, transformational contributions made by mavericks within a domain (Big-C creativity). In an effort to broaden the concept, we developed a more nuanced, developmental model, which we call the Four C Model of Creativity (Kaufman & Beghetto, 2009). This model describes the following levels of creative expression:

  • mini-c, or interpretive, creativity (such as a 2nd grade student’s new insight about how to solve a math problem).
  • little-c, or everyday, creativity (such as a 10th grade social studies class developing an original project that combines learning about a key historical event with gathering local histories from community elders).
  • Pro-C, or expert, creativity (for example, the idea of the flipped classroom pioneered by teachers Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann).
  • Big-C, or legendary, creativity (for example, Maria Montessori’s new approach to early childhood education).

The Four C Model provides a framework for including creativity in the curriculum and helping students develop their creativity to higher levels.

Consider two elementary students who each write a short story and submit it to a school wide literary contest. One student writes a science fiction story that is based on his own ideas and is personally meaningful to him; although the literary contest judges rate it as ordinary, the story meets the standard criteria of being task appropriate and original as judged by the student himself. Therefore, the story can be considered creative at the mini-c level. Another student writes a science fiction story that the judges rate as highly creative, to which they award first prize. Although this story is not of high enough quality to be published in a science fiction magazine, it displays an unusually high level of originality and quality for an elementary student and may be considered creative at the little-c level.

The first student’s teacher could help him develop his mini-c ideas about science fiction stories into little-c creative contributions by encouraging his interest and helping him develop greater understanding and mastery of storytelling. Similarly, a teacher could work with the second student to help her develop her understanding of the science fiction genre and the domain expertise necessary to move from little-c science fiction stories into published, Pro-C science fiction. This achievement should be understood as a long-term goal: Moving from little-c to Pro-C takes years of deliberate practice (Ericsson, 2006). Few children will reach the Pro-C level of creativity, which is reserved for expert-level authors.

The fourth level of creativity, Big-C, is reserved in science fiction writing for legends like H. G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, or Mary Shelley. This doesn’t mean that Big-C creativity plays no role in the classroom, however. Teachers can include biographies of Big-C creators across various subject areas to illustrate the work, setbacks, and supports involved in becoming a legendary creator. The lives of Marie Curie, Mark Twain, Martin Luther King Jr., and Claude Monet, among others, include stories of persistence and resilience, traits associated with creativity at all levels. Exploring such biographies can capture students’ imagination, raise important questions, and even dispel misconceptions about creativity in particular fields of study. Learning about C. S. Lewis’s struggles with writer’s block, for example, may help a young student realize that such challenges are universal.

3. Context Matters

Some education thinkers have expressed concerns that U.S. schools are stifling student creativity, or causing a "creativity crisis" (Bronson & Merryman, 2010). Although a narrow focus on convergent teaching and learning can suppress creative thinking, the good news is that where there is life, there is creativity. Research has demonstrated that creativity is a robust human trait; students can be protected and bounce back from creativity-stifling school and classroom practices (Beghetto, 2010).

Certain contexts can curtail and suppress creativity, however. In particular, the school and classroom environment often send subtle messages that play an important role in determining whether students will share their mini-c creative insights and have the opportunity to develop their creative competence.

For instance, research shows that creativity can suffer when people are promised rewards for creative work, when learning conditions stress competition and social comparisons, or when individuals are highly aware of being monitored and evaluated by others. Conversely, creativity generally thrives in environments that support personal interest, involvement, enjoyment, and engagement with challenging tasks (Hennessey & Amabile, 2010).

The key insight from this research is that teachers should do their best to minimize features of the environment that can impede creativity (social comparisons, contingent rewards, and so on). Instead, teachers should help students focus on the more intrinsically motivating and personally meaningful aspects of the work by discussing how students might incorporate their personal interests into the tasks and by acknowledging their creativity.

For example, instead of having students choose from a limited set of topics for their science experiments, a teacher might encourage them to plan experiments that examine their specific interests (such as autism, nutrition, or social media). Language arts students might have the option of writing a new scene for an assigned novel instead of writing a compare-and-contrast essay. Such alternate assignments would be equally rigorous but would encourage students to be more invested in the outcome.

4. Creativity Comes at a Cost

Creativity is often associated with fun, fluff, and frills. A quick Google image search on creativity yields a vast array of playful images, including laughing faces, smiling light bulbs, colorful arrays of crayons, and explosive bursts of paint. These images belie the more serious aspects of creativity. Creativity can have benefits that transcend temporary enjoyment. It can produce effective solutions to highly complex societal problems; lead to higher levels of career success; and create intense personal enjoyment, engagement, and meaning in life (Kaufman, 2009).

But the benefits come with a cost; creativity requires work, effort, and risk. Many years of painstaking effort are needed to develop the expertise to make creative contributions that go beyond the everyday level. Moreover, even everyday creativity takes effort, subject-matter understanding, the ability to put a new spin on the task at hand, and the willingness to share one’s creative expression with others—risking rejection, ridicule, or worse.

When a young student shares a new and personally meaningful perspective on how to solve a math problem, she risks having her idea dismissed or misunderstood by her teacher. A student who volunteers to read a story in front of the class is taking the chance of being laughed at by his peers. It does not take many such incidents for a student to learn that it’s not worth the effort and risk to share personal ideas—it’s much easier to provide the answers that teachers and peers expect.

Part of encouraging creativity, therefore, includes helping students become aware of the potential costs and benefits associated with creative expression. When students understand both the potential benefits and potential costs of creativity, they will be in a position to determine whether the risk is worth it.

5. There’s a Time and a Place for Creativity

Given all the talk about nurturing creativity, teachers may feel that creativity should be encouraged and expressed at all times. But would you want a creative dentist or cab driver? It depends. We don’t want a dentist trying a new tooth extraction procedure during a routine cleaning or a cab driver exploring a new route during a typical ride from the hotel to the airport. In such cases, we prefer that they conform to what is expected. However, if a tooth unexpectedly shatters during a cleaning, we want that dentist to be creative enough to improvise a way to fix it. Similarly, if we are running late for an important flight and the interstate traffic comes to a screeching halt, we might very well appreciate our cabbie’s creative exploration of an alternate route.

Accomplished creators know when to be creative. Therefore, it’s important for teachers to teach (and model) how to read a situation and determine whether and how to express one’s creative ideas, insights, and behaviors. In other words, students need to develop creative metacognition—a combination of creative self-knowledge (knowing one’s own creative strengths and limitations, both within a domain and as a general trait) and contextual knowledge (knowing when, where, how, and why to be creative) (Kaufman & Beghetto, in press).

Educators can help students develop their creative metacognition by providing them with informative feedback on their own creative strengths and limitations. Feedback should follow the Goldilocks Principle (Beghetto & Kaufman, 2007)—it should be neither too harsh (stifling students’ motivation) nor too mild (failing to acknowledge real-world standards). Teachers should provide honest feedback that strikes the just-right balance between challenging students and supporting them as they develop their creative competence.

Consider, for example, a student who is assigned to write a historical account of an event during the past decade that had an impact on the local community. The student takes a novel approach to this assignment, combining secondary sources (such as news accounts) and imaginary primary sources ("ghosts of the past" who represent various generational perspectives).

To provide balanced feedback, the teacher might acknowledge the originality and insightfulness of the student’s attempt to present multiple generational perspectives of the event. The teacher might then challenge the student to replace the fictional sources with actual primary sources by locating real community members who represent different generations, interviewing them, and incorporating their perspectives into the final paper.

Realizing the Benefits

As parents, educators, and creativity researchers, we are encouraged by the increased attention being paid to creativity and the recognition that it has a role to play in schools and classrooms. It’s essential, however, that education leaders develop a thorough understanding of creativity and that they take the time and care necessary to ensure that the benefits of creativity are realized in schools and classrooms.

Additional Resources for Developing an Understanding of Creativity

  • Nurturing Creativity in the Classroomedited by R. A. Beghetto and J. C. Kaufman (Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  • Contemporary Perspectives on Research in Creativity in Early Childhood Educationby O. N. Saracho (Information Age Press, 2012).
  • Structure and Improvisation in Creative Teachingedited by R. K. Sawyer (Cambridge University Press, 2011).
  • Creativity: A Handbook for Teachersedited by A. G. Tan (World Scientific, 2007).

References

Beghetto, R. A. (2010). Creativity in the classroom. In J. C. Kaufman, & R. J. Sternberg (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of creativity (pp. 447–466). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Beghetto, R. A., & Kaufman, J. C. (2007). Toward a broader conception of creativity: A case for mini-c creativity. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 1, 73–79.

Beghetto, R. A., & Plucker, J. A. (2006). The relationship among schooling, learning, and creativity: "All roads lead to creativity" or "You can’t get there from here"? In J. C. Kaufman & J. Bear (Eds.), Creativity and reason in cognitive development (pp. 316–332). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Bronson, P., & Merryman, A. (2010, July 19). The creativity crisis. Newsweek, 44–50.

Ericsson, K. A. (2006). The influence of experience and deliberate practice on the development of superior expert performance. In K. A. Ericsson, N. Charness, P. Feltovich, & R. R. Hoffman (Eds.), Cambridge handbook of expertise and expert performance (pp. 683–704). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Hennessey, B. A., & Amabile, T. M. (2010). Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 569–598.

Kaufman, J. C. (2009). Creativity 101. New York: Springer.

Kaufman, J. C., & Beghetto, R. A. (2009). Beyond big and little: The Four C Model of Creativity. Review of General Psychology, 13, 1–12.

Kaufman, J. C., & Beghetto, R. A. (in press). In praise of Clark Kent: Creative metacognition and the importance of teaching kids when (not) to be creative. Roeper Review.

Kaufman, J. C., & Sternberg, R. J. (2007). Resource review: Creativity. Change, 39, 55–58.

Plucker, J. A., Beghetto, R. A., & Dow, G. T. (2004). Why isn’t creativity more important to educational psychologists? Potential, pitfalls, and future directions in creativity research. Educational Psychologist, 39, 83–97.

Ronald A. Beghetto is associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor of education studies, College of Education, University of Oregon at Eugene. <a href="mailto:jkaufman is professor and director of the Learning Research Institute, California State University at San Bernardino.

Self Esteem

Teaching Strategies to Build Student Confidence By: Janelle Cox

For many students, self-confidence is a natural personality trait: You either have it or you don’t.

Confident learners tend to speak more and know how to get their point across. For those students who aren’t so confident, learning new material can feel like swimming upstream. These students are always questioning their abilities and tend to shy away from answering questions.

Confidence can also be taught via some creative teaching strategies. We as teachers have a powerful influence on our students, and we can help them feel confident and proud of themselves and their accomplishments. We can help them feel secure enough that they are willing and able to learn new material.

Here are a few teaching strategies to do just that.

1. Offer praise and acknowledge students’ accomplishments, both in private and in front of their classmates. Always start with a positive statement, and then you can add on by referring to what they need to work on.

2. Try not to correct every single thing the student says wrong. Do not interrupt the student when they are talking to correct them — this will harm their confidence, not boost it.

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3. Set attainable goals from the start of the year. This is a surefire way for students to see how much they have grown.

4. Give students the opportunity to choose what they learn — this will help them build their self-worth. Try a learning menu or choice board where students get to choose which activities they want to learn about.

5. Be sure to always express a positive attitude to all of your students. This will show them that you are on their side, and that they are worth your attention.

6. Create opportunities for students to succeed by building on their strengths. If a student knows a lot of information about something, ask them to tell you about it. “I am unfamiliar with how the new gaming system works, can you please explain it to me?” Asking students for their help is a great confidence boost to their ego.

7. Encourage students to do better than they did before. For example, if Brady got a B on his science test, encourage him to get an A this time. It’s important for students to compete against themselves not their classmates.

8. Keep a log of how well all students are doing, and what they are good at and what they need to work on. This careful monitoring will help you catch problems as they arise.

Classroom Activities to Build Self-Confidence

To help students recognize and appreciate their growth try a few of these activities.

Elementary Students

  • Have students draw or paste a picture of themselves on the middle of a piece of paper. Ask students to write or draw all of the things that they like about themselves around their picture. Encourage them to add to the picture every time they think of something new they like about themselves.
  • Challenge students to keep track of all of the things that they can do and add to the list throughout the school year (i.e. How high you can count?, How far can you jump?).

Middle School Students

  • Challenge students to choose one thing that they would like to get better at and give them a timeframe to accomplish this task. (i.e. one week to get an A on a math quiz, two weeks to be able to do learn a magic trick, etc.) Remind students that they are in competition with themselves, not their peers.
  • Have students estimate how long it will take them to complete a task. Students who think it will take them an hour to complete their homework are less inclined to actually do their homework. Once they figure out that a shorter time commitment is required they will be more apt (and confident) to do their work.

High School Students

  • Help students see that there is a connection between how hard you work and how well you succeed. Oftentimes, less-persistent high school students think that good students are smarter than them. Open up a discussion in the classroom and talk about how long it took the students who got a good grade on the last exam to study. Sometimes, all it takes is a quick conversation for students to really grasp that everyone has to work hard in order to succeed.
  • Offer students time to reflect after each lesson. Ask students what they think went right and what they think caused them stress. Have students share their responses with the class. This is a great way for students to see how their peers overcome their problems, which in turn will help them with their own self-confidence.

While biological traits may play a role in self-confidence, we can see from the tips and activities above that it is possible for teachers to give the not-so-confident students a little boost. http://www.teachhub.com/teaching-strategies-build-student-confidence

The Case for Chess as a Tool to Develop Our Children’s Minds

Abstract

This article surveys educational and psychological studies to examine the benefits for children of studying and playing chess. These show that chess can
– Raise intelligence quotient (IQ) scores
– Strengthen problem solving skills, teaching how to make difficult and abstract decisions independently
– Enhance reading, memory, language, and mathematical abilities
– Foster critical, creative, and original thinking
– Provide practice at making accurate and fast decisions under time pressure, a skill that can help improve exam scores at school
– Teach how to think logically and efficiently, learning to select the ‘best’ choice from a large number of options
– Challenge gifted children while potentially helping underachieving gifted students learn how to study and strive for excellence
– Demonstrate the importance of flexible planning, concentration, and the consequences of decisions
– Reach boys and girls regardless of their natural abilities or socio-economic backgrounds

Given these educational benefits, the author concludes that chess is one of the most effective teaching tools to prepare children for a world increasingly swamped by information and ever tougher decisions. https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/the-case-for-chess-as-a-tool-to-develop-our-childrenrsquos-minds

10 Ways to Inspire a Love of Learning in Your Classroom …

10 Ways to Inspire a Love of Learning in Your Classroom

Just think of the smiles on your kids’ faces when you read them a great story, or how their eyes light up when you show them tiny plants buds just peeking through the soil. The great thing about teaching young […]

Erin Macpherson on November 15, 2013FacebookPinterestTwitter

Just think of the smiles on your kids’ faces when you read them a great story, or how their eyes light up when you show them tiny plants buds just peeking through the soil. The great thing about teaching young children is that they have an innate desire to know more about the world. Sadly, this innate love of learning is often squelched by the time kids hit elementary school, crushed by ineffective academic standards and incorrectly implied curriculum that take the delight out of learning.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! That’s why we’ve worked with the early-learning experts at VINCI Education to inspire kids to love learning. As a teacher, you can make a big impact on your students’ future love of learning by simply allowing them to learn in a way that’s not only educational but also fun. Here are a few ideas to help you do just that:

  1. Teach them to be critical thinkers.The adrenaline rush from solving a tough puzzle leads kids to want to do it again and again—and that creates life-long learners and problem-solvers.
  2. Meet kids where they are.Some kids are kinesthetic learners and need activity to thrive.Others love games.Still others love to get wrapped into a good book.Work hard to show your kids that you value their unique interests and learning styles.
  3. Inter-woven learning and play.Play and learn can go in parallel. For young children, play is learning, so work to incorporate concept teaching during fun activities such as building sand castle or pretend-playing with toy kitchen. Make educational fun an important part of any early learner’s day from an early age.
  4. Facilitate learning with technology.Kids love technology—and one of the best ways to get kids excited about learning is to supplement your spoken curriculum with technology.Try letting kids play a related game on a tablet after you teach math or reward good behavior with technology time.
  5. Listen to your kids.Be willing to spend time talking to your kids and finding out what interests them so that you can adjust learning to fit.
  6. Show your kids that you love to play and learn.Bring a copy of your favorite book to school and let your kids catch you reading it.Or, divert from the art lesson to demonstrate your own love of painting to the kids. Show your talent with sand castle or getting a toy sunk in the water… Participate and show your enjoyment in playing
  7. Recognize achievements.If you notice a kid has mastered a particular skill or is excelling on a certain game, point out his or her achievement or give that student a sticker or a smiley face.Even little acknowledgements can serve as major motivation.
  8. Involve the entire village.Send home fun enrichment activities for your early learners to do at home.Likewise, communicate what you are doing with parents and ask them to send you ideas, books, and activity suggestions.
  9. Mix it up.Try blended learning one day and a nature hike the next in order to let kids know that there are lots of ways to learn and grow.
  10. Always make a summary.It seems simple, but when you make a short summary at the end of play, you help kids retain the learning that they gained. Take a few minutes to recall what was played and learned and their retention will increase.

https://www.weareteachers.com/10-ways-to-inspire-a-love-of-learning-in-your-classroom/

This TED Talk is 17 minutes and it will show you what its really like in school today for many of our youth-at-risk. Can you make a difference? The answer is YES! http://www.ted.com/talks/linda_cliatt_wayman_how_to_fix_a_broken_school_lead_fearlessly_love_hard?utm_source=newsletter_weekly_2015-06-13&utm_campaign=newsletter_weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_content=top_left_button

Teaching creativity and adaptability is as important as teaching linguistic skills because 65 percent of jobs our kindergarteners will have do not exist today.. http://www.roberthalf.com/technology/blog/most-grade-school-kids-will-have-jobs-that-dont-exist-how-should-they-prepare

RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms – teach creativity in small groups! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

NOTE: Charter Schools and Vouchers are the alternative if all else fails.

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I have always wondered about the truth of the magnitude of climate change due to increases of man-made greenhouse gases. I remember my water chemistry professor, Dr. Charles O’Melia, telling us in 1974 that oceans contain about 50 times more CO 2 than the atmosphere (approximately 93 percent of the CO 2 is found in the oceans http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Bi-Ca/Carbon-Dioxide-in-the-Ocean-and-Atmosphere.html ). For this reason, he doubted the magnitude of climate change. I read the highly technical, “Climate Change: The Facts,” – April 21, 2015. In summary, we need more credible scientific research to confirm the magnitude of climate change before taking drastic measures to reduce man made greenhouse gas emissions.

"The FDA ban on albuterol CFC inhalers was associated with large relative increases in out-of-pocket inhaler costs and slight declines in albuterol inhaler utilization among privately insured individuals with asthma," wrote Anupam Jena, Oliver Ho, Dana Goldman and Pinar Karaca-Mandic. – See more at: http://www.raps.org/Regulatory-Focus/News/2015/05/11/22139/FDA-Ban-on-CFCs-in-Asthma-Inhalers-Raised-Costs-for-Patients-New-Study-Finds/#sthash.wP9s7mxw.dpuf CFCs are considered a man made greenhouse gas.

Methane emissions have approximately 15 to 30 times greater effect on climate change than CO2 emissions depending on whether or not water vapor is taken into account. Methane emissions from human sources including agribusiness, represent up to approximately one third of the total warming effect of all greenhouse gases produced by man. Few if any government studies address the danger of methane emissions from agribusiness. Methane emissions from agribusiness (primarily from beef and dairy cattle), represent a large percentage of greenhouse gases produced by man. Facts and Sources – COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret explains why few if any government studies have addressed methane emissions from dairy cattle or beef cattle feedlots. No politician or government official dares address methane emissions or water usage (1,800 gallons per pound of beef) from beef cattle feedlots or the dairy industry. See The Water Footprint of Food – GRACE Communications Foundation.

I urge those that believe the horrors and degree of temperature change resulting from man made greenhouse gasses, to read, “Climate Change: The Facts,” – April 21, 2015 and the book from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), titled Why Scientists Disagree about Global Warming, by Craig Idso, Robert M. Carter (1942-2016), S. Fred Singer – November 30, 2015. Download the PDF We need more credible scientific research before changing government policy favoring alternate energy projects or instigating cap and trade regulations to control CO2 emissions.

The book from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), titled Why Scientists Disagree about Global Warming, by Craig Idso, Robert M. Carter (1942-2016), S. Fred Singer was released on November 30, 2015. Download the PDF Why Scientists Disagree, explains why the claim of “scientific consensus” on the causes and consequences of climate change is without merit. The authors comprehensively and specifically rebut the surveys and studies used to support claims of a consensus. They then summarize evidence showing disagreement, identify four reasons why scientists disagree about global warming, and then provide a detailed survey of the physical science of global warming based on the authors’ previous work.

Why Scientists Disagree was produced by NIPCC, an international panel of nongovernment scientists and scholars who came together to present a comprehensive, authoritative, and realistic assessment of the science and economics of global warming. Reports of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warn of a dangerous human effect on climate, NIPCC concludes the human effect is likely to be small relative to natural variability, and whatever small warming is likely to occur will produce benefits as well as costs. NIPCC is sponsored by three nonprofit organizations: the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), and The Heartland Institute. http://climatechangereconsidered.org/ “Climate Change: The Facts,” – April 21, 2015 by by Dr John Abbot (Author), Dr Robert M. Carter ~ Rupert Darwall ~ James Delingpole (Author), & 10 morewas published by Stockade Books and The Institute of Public Affairs.”Climate Change: The Facts,” features 22 essays on the science, politics and economics of the climate change debate. The book features the world’s leading experts and commentators on climate change. Highlights of“Climate Change: The Facts,” include: Ian Plimer draws on the geological record to dismiss the possibility that human emissions of carbon dioxide will lead to catastrophic consequences for the planet. Patrick Michaels demonstrates the growing chasm between the predictions of the IPCC and the real world temperature results. Richard Lindzen shows the climate is less sensitive to increases in greenhouse gases than previously thought and argues that a warmer world would have a similar weather variability to today. Willie Soon discusses the often unremarked role of the sun in climate variability. Robert Carter explains why the natural variability of the climate is far greater than any human component. John Abbot and Jennifer Marohasy demonstrate how little success climate models have in predicting important information such as rainfall.

Nigel Lawson warns of the dire economic consequences of abandoning the use of fossil fuels. Alan Moran compares the considerable costs of taking action compared to the relatively minor potential benefits of doing so. James Delingpole looks at the academic qualifications of the leading proponents of catastrophic climate change and finds many lack the credentials of so-called ‘skeptics’. Garth Paltridge says science itself will be damaged by the failure of climate forecasts to eventuate. Jo Nova chronicles the extraordinary sums of public money awarded to climate change activists, in contrast to those who question their alarmist warnings. Kesten Green and Scott Armstrong compare climate change alarmism to previous scares raised over the past 200 years. Rupert Darwall explains why an international, legally binding climate agreement has extremely minimal chances of success. Ross McKitrick reviews the ‘hockey stick’ controversy and what it reveals about the state of climate science.

Donna Laframboise explains how activists have taken charge of the IPCC. Mark Steyn recounts the embarrassing ‘Ship of Fools’ expedition to Antarctica. Christopher Essex argues the climate system is far more complex than it has been presented and there is much that we still don’t know. Bernie Lewin examines how climate change science came to bepoliticized. Stewart Franks lists all the unexpected developments in climate science that were not foreseen. Anthony Watts highlights the failure of the world to warm over the past 18 years, contrary to the predictions of the IPCC. Andrew Bolt reviews the litany of failed forecasts by climate change activists.

According to this book we live in a cold period with very low CO2 atmospheric concentration. Geology indicates CO2 atmospheric concentration was up to 1000 times higher then now, during ice ages.

Prioritizing Solutions to Top Ten World Problems

Bjorn Lomborg: Global priorities bigger than climate change – TED.com

List of Top 10 World Problems

· Climate change

· Communicable disease

· Conflicts

· Education

· Financial instability

· Government and corruption

· Malnutrition and hunger

· Population migration

· Sanitation and water

· Subsidiaries and trade barriers

Priorities based on cost/benefit ratio as rated by Bjorn Lomborg: Global priorities bigger than climate change – TED.com

1. Communicable disease – #1 Best project – decrease malaria and HIV

2. Malnutrition and hunger – 2nd Best project – focus on micronutrients to eliminate malnutrition

3. Subsidiaries and trade barriers – 3rd Best project (eliminate subsidiaries and trade barriers) to enliven global economy (See Subsidies Are the Problem, Not the Solution, for Innovation in Energy …)

10. Climate change – lowest priority project due to high cost/benefit ratio

https://www.ted.com/talks/bjorn_lomborg_sets_global_priorities

Conclusion

After researching climate change, I believe the horrors and degree of temperature change resulting from man made greenhouse gasses are greatly exaggerated by politicians seeking reelection and a trillion dollar alternate energy industry. There may be more benefits than costs of global warming and increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. The benefits would be a greener earth from increased plant growth and less severe winters. I believe the IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is doing a great disservice to mankind by using inaccurate data and ignoring apposing scientific research to exaggerate the horrors and degree of temperature change resulting from man made greenhouse gasses. Australia is a good example of what happens when a country depends on windmills and solar collectors to replace sources of electricity that generate CO2 emissions. Solar collectors do not generate electricity at night and there is usually a lack of wind for windmills during winter and summer months when electricity is in high demand. During winter and summer months Australia must purchase high cost electricity from fossil fuel and nuclear plants. Australia’s focus on alternative energy has resulted in a 50 to 100 percent increase in the cost of electricity.

I worked for a company as an environmental engineer (PE) that prepared and certified stack emission test reports submitted to EPA. This company co-burned coal and hazardous waste to produce popcorn like, light weight aggregate from shale and slate. We found coal to be a very “dirty” fuel because it contained high levels of arsenic and cadmium. We used coal from Powder Mountain Ridge in Colorado to meet emission standards because East Coast anthracite coal had arsenic concentrations (over 3.5 mg/kg). We had bag houses that could remove 4 nines 5 (99.995%) of arsenic and cadmium in stack emissions. What I found more alarming was the volatile mercury concentration in stack emissions resulting from burning coal. We installed a lime scrubber followed by a high pressure water scrubber prior to bag houses to try to remove volatile mercury in stack emissions. No matter how hard we tried, we could only remove 50% of volatile mercury in stack emissions. This is a major problem with coal-fired power plants. See Mercury in US Coal – USGS. In the United States we are fortunate that natural gas fired power plants have replaced coal, because natural gas provides a cheaper (and much cleaner) fuel source than coal or oil. Some years ago, the State of Virginia decided to find out what the natural background mercury concentration in fish should be. The state decided to take fish samples from Dragon Run (Dragon Run watershed – Wikipedia), the main tributary of the Piankatank River. No industry is located in the Dragon Run or Piankatank River basin. For this reason, Dragon Run is considered a pristine watershed. All fish samples came back over the allowable mercury limit for edible fish. The state finally concluded that mercury in Dragon Run came from atmospheric pollution. Coal fired power plants would be the logical source. Coal still remains the cheapest energy source for developing nations.

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Life as a quadriplegic in a wheelchair is difficult, both physically and emotionally. I am constantly trying to find purpose and meaning in life. Encouraging and helping others gives me purpose for living. Glorifying God by trying to be a Christian man gives my life meaning.

Many of my readers do not believe there is a God. My questions to them are, are you a cosmic accident as the result of the big bang? Why are you alive? Does your life matter? What is life’s purpose? Does good and evil exist? If good and evil exist, then there must be a moral law, and if there is a moral law, there must be a moral law giver. If there is no God, there is no moral law, no sin, and we along with our nation will continue to decline.

Life without purpose is not worth living. Belief in God and Bible study has given me meaning and purpose in life. After attending a Randy Clark healing weekend retreat, I believe God exists and performs healing and miracles. I believe the Bible is true. For me, life is all about God and knowing God. I believe this life is a crucible that builds character and prepares us to live eternally in heaven.

I believe our purpose on earth is to love God and love our fellow man.

Luke 10:27 New International Version (NIV)

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”

See: What On Earth Am I Here For? Small Group Bible study by Rick Warrenhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWWZlkUO8qE and God and the Meaning of Life | Nabeel Qureshi – YouTube

In the first 62 years of my life I was an engineer. I am now learning about the spirit world and finding that both worlds appear real. You might think I have lost it, but the spirit world enables us to do much more then we can ever imagine in the practical world. The practical world envisions fictitious wormholes that will enable us to travel through space. In the spirit world, we see in the spirit and travel in the spirit. There are no barriers in the spirit world. In the Bible, Ezekiel, Daniel, and John write about traveling in the spirit. The kingdom of darkness reigns on earth. Unclean spirits (demons) are very real and cause pain and disease in this world. Unclean spirits have confronted me on numerous occasions, and I can assure you they are real! Satan and unclean spirits have no hold on us unless we give them permission. When unclean spirits confront you, commanded them to leave in the name of Jesus, and they will leave! In the Bible, Jesus demonstrated authority to cast out demons and unclean spirits. Jesus told us that if we believe in Him, we will be able to do much greater works than He did.

John 14:12-14 New International Version (NIV)

12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

I try to continually be optimistic, even in the face of difficulty and “temporary” failure. I find being optimistic and happy is a choice that comes from within. I have had to accept myself as a quadriplegic in a wheelchair to be happy. I find happiness by doing things for others, connecting with people, riding my trike, keeping up with the world around us, bouncing back from adversity, being part of something bigger than myself, and living life as a minimalist, without stuff. He who needs nothing is rich.

I believe we glorify God when we face difficulty with a positive attitude. People tell me that I have had a more positive effect on people now than before my injury. Having a positive attitude and never giving up when we go through the crucible of life reveals our true character.Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you live your life. Joel Osteen

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. Viktor E. Frankl The longer I live the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude is more important than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, then what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a person, a home, a company, or a church. We have the choice every day regarding the attitude we want to embrace for that day We cannot change the inevitable, but we can change our attitude toward the inevitable.

“Life is 10 percent of what happens to us and 90 percent how we react to it.” Charles Swindoll.

The story below is another example of why I believe there is a God, a Heaven, and a Hell.

A Muslim told me a very personal story. The story begins on a snowy road in northern Michigan when his car spun out of control and into the lane of an oncoming tractor-trailer. Just before the front end collision he prayed, “God help me,”. He observed the collision in slow motion. He saw the tractor-trailer hit the front end of his car. He saw the front end of the car slowly collapse. He saw the windshield slowly break. He saw the dashboard slowly come toward him. He knew he was dead when the dashboard crushed his chest. He saw a bright light unlike any light he had ever seen. He felt energy come back into his body. An ambulance picked him up and carried him to the hospital. He was in a coma for four hours, and his family surrounded him. He came out of his coma, and walked out of the hospital that evening with a cut blow his lip and below his left ear. The doctor asked him, “What happened?” He told the doctor he was between Earth and Heaven. He asked God if he could come back and take care of his two daughters and his mother. He said, ”I know there is a God, and I know there is a Heaven, and I know there is a Hell, And, I know this is not the real world.” He accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior of his life, and was baptized. This event changed his life to a life of service helping people. He continues to be both Muslim and Christian, and he knows who God is. His family is Muslim.

Psalm 139:7-12 New International Version (NIV)

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray you would have spiritual fullness in Christ to know your purpose in life and to do the will of God. I thank God through Jesus Christ for you who step out in faith with courage to do the will of God and spread the gospel in power with healing and miracles. May the love and peace of Christ rule in your heart.

Chris

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